Thank you Karen!

From Karen Peteros, of SF Bee Cause:

Back in the late 1990’s, before I got into beekeeping, I was into finding lots of different South African and Mediterranean bulbs that would grow well here, primarily through a small specialist bulb business, McClure & Zimmerman. In the past 5 years, these bulbs have become more available from lots of different nurseries and bulb companies.

Some have done very well in my backyard, particularly those that originate from South Africa. Once I got into beekeeping, my backyard honey bees pollinated nearly everything that flowered and, amazingly, my bulbs have increased exponentially in part due to growing from seed! (I would harvest the seed pods, crush and toss them about). But now, especially in early spring or late fall, I can’t seem to put a trowel in the soil without exposing or cutting into bulbs. I would love to contribute to your project. Here’s what I have that make good cut flowers, primarily due to the fact that successive blooming on the same flower spike makes these last for 1 week or longer):

Freesia: If I recall correctly, these are single floret-types, yellow ones and white ones: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freesia. The white are amazing in that their scent is different than most freesia’s — they smell distinctly peppery! They’ve been out of ground for a few days and should be planted ASAP.

Xia, which are tall. Although I had ordered a “mixture” bag of these bulbs, the predominate color is white with purple-pink stripes on the outside of the flower: http://www.angelfire.com/ri/ixia/ixalbum7.html. They bloom late Spring and early Summer in my backyard.

Tritonia: http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/Tritonia If I recall the flowers, they are either laxifolia or parvula or maybe a mixture of both but they are all a soft peachy color. They reproduce bulb-lets like crazy. If you come get some clumps from me now, they may be able to bloom for you in a few months.

Sparaxis: (http://gardenfortheenvironment.org/pages/fromthebordermay09.html) although I am not sure they’d make good cut flowers. If I recall, the stem might be too short. Perhaps when they bloom, I can let you know and one or all of you can come by and check them out. If you think they will work for including in Bloom Justice bouquets, I can dig them up for you at the end of the season so you can plant them at your site for blooming next spring.

Let me know, especially about the Freesias because they need to be planted ASAP.